On Saturday the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, 432 W. Walnut St., Allentown, will open a new exhibition on Palmerton and the zinc industry.
The exhibit will open at 1 p.m. with a special program by Peter L. Kern, a former senior vice president of research and development for the New Jersey Zinc Company.
In the late 1890s, zinc-producing operations were located throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In an effort to increase efficiency and maximize production, the New Jersey Zinc Company consolidated its smelting operations at a site along the Lehigh River just north of the Lehigh Gap. Here they constructed their smelting plants and established the town of Palmerton.
This region of Pennsylvania possessed large fields of anthracite coal nearby that were necessary for the manufacturing process. Large supplies of fresh water were also available in ample quantities from the Lehigh River. High-grade zinc ore was mined in and around Franklin, New Jersey, then shipped by rail to Palmerton for efficient processing on a world-class scale.
The Heritage Museum exhibit will explore the role of the New Jersey Zinc Company in Palmerton’s ongoing development from its initial founding to the present. Visitors will also discover the daily lives of the men and women who lived and worked in Palmerton.
Admission is free to members. There is a charge for nonmembers.
For more information, visit www.lehighvalleyheritagemuseum.org.